So I was a little giddy when I found a number of Elderberry bushes growing on our new farm. I saw the large, white, disks of flowers from a distance. I wasn’t positive until I got closer, but sure enough. We have Elderberry growing on the farm!
I did a quick search for Elderberry Flower Fritter recipes, and they all include eggs. That is not an issue for me, but one of my sons is allergic to eggs. So I set out to create a recipe for a Eggless Elderberry Flower Fritters! It was a huge success, so I wanted to share it. This recipe is great for anyone trying to avoid eggs, no matter the reason. I should also note that I really don’t like to use wheat flour, but I did so for a few reasons. First, when I am developing a variant recipe, I try to start with a more traditional recipe and make small changes. This allows me to catch mistakes/errors with more ease (Permaculture Principle Nine: Use Small and Slow Solutions). Second, once in a while, I do eat foods that are not healthy for me, because they just taste good! I will share results as I continue to experiment.
On a side note, we know my son is allergic to chicken eggs. He may not be allergic to duck eggs. Many people who are allergic to one species’ egg are not allergic to another species’ egg. Just something to keep in mind if you deal with chicken egg allergies.
When harvesting any “wild” plant, proper identification is vital. Following are some images of our Elderberry shrubs to help aid identification:
There is always a balance to strike when harvesting flowers from a plant that also produces such amazing berries, but our harvest represented less than 1% of the total flowers from our collection of Elderberries. We harvested 12-15 heads.
It is also important to wash the flowers before use. I knocked off numerous, little insects. I wish I could have gotten a photo, but there was a small spider that looked as if it was designed just to grow on Elderberry flowers. It was beautiful!
While the flowers were drying, I put together the batter recipe.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Coconut oil for frying – I heated the oil in a medium pan until hot. Don’t let the oil get too hot, or the batter will burn.
- Honey and powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) for drizzling and sprinkling.
The fritter batter should resemble a pancake batter. It cannot be too thick, or you will have a hard time getting the batter to stick to the individual flowers. If it is too thick, then you can add some more milk to the batter. I didn’t take any photos of the battering process, but it is pretty simple. Hold the flower head by the stem. Drip it into the batter. Dunk it up and down a few times, then drag it clockwise and then counter-clockwise a few times. This distributes the batter over the whole flower head. What you end up with looks like a ball of batter with a stem coming out the top – the weight of the batter collapses the flower head. Gently shake the battered flower head over the batter bowl. The excess batter will drip off. I then blotted the battered flower head on a plate to get even more excess batter off the flower head. I also think that this maneuver distributed the batter more evenly over the individual flowers.
Next, gently lower the battered flower head into the hot oil. You can do this with tongs if you are not used to cooking/frying with hot oil. Make sure you use a pan with high walls. The batter causes the oil to bubble up, and you can cause a fire if the oil bubbles over.
Once the battered flower head hits the oil, the flower head opens back up to its original size. If the batter is too thick, this is less likely to happen. Fry until the batter is golden.
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Photo References: All photos in this article are mine. Please ask if you would like to use them!